Dendrimeric Nanoparticles for Two-Photon Photodynamic Therapy and Imaging Synthesis, Photophysical Properties, Innocuousness in Daylight and Cytotoxicity under Two-Photon Irradiation in the NIR

Abstract : The synthesis and the photophysical properties of a new class of fully organic monodisperse nanoparticles for combined two-photon imaging and photodynamic therapy are described. The design of such nanoparticles is based on the covalent immobilization of a dedicated quadrupolar dye that combines excellent two-photon absorbing (2PA) properties, fluorescence and singlet oxygen generation ability, in a phosphorous-based dendrimeric architecture. First, a bifunctional quadrupolar dye bearing two different grafting moieties, a phenol function and an aldehyde function, was synthesized. It was then covalently grafted through its phenol function to a phosphorus-based dendrimer scaffold of generation 1. The remaining aldehyde functions were then used to continue the dendrimer synthesis up to generation 2, introducing finally 24 water-solubilizing triethyleneglycol chains at its periphery. A dendrimer confining 12 photoactive quadrupolar units in its inner scaffold and showing water solubility was thus obtained. Interestingly, the G1 and G2 dendrimers retain some fluorescence as well as significant singlet oxygen production efficiencies while they were found to show very high 2PA cross-sections in a broad range of the NIR biological spectral window. Hydrophilic dendrimer G2 was tested in vitro on breast cancer cells, first in one- and two-photon microscopy, which allowed for visualization of their cell internalization, then in two-photon photodynamic therapy. While being nontoxic in the dark and, more importantly, under exposure to daylight, dendrimer G2 proved to be a very efficient cell-death inducer only under two-photon irradiation in the NIR.
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A. Sourdon, M. Gary-Bobo, M. Maynadier, M. Garcia, J.-P. Majoral, et al.. Dendrimeric Nanoparticles for Two-Photon Photodynamic Therapy and Imaging Synthesis, Photophysical Properties, Innocuousness in Daylight and Cytotoxicity under Two-Photon Irradiation in the NIR. Chemistry - A European Journal, Wiley-VCH Verlag, 2019, 25 (14), pp.3637-3649. ⟨10.1002/chem.201805617⟩. ⟨hal-02051161⟩

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